Neal Ray Rieger, aged 56, passed away at 1:53 AM on December 15, 2020 at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, TX, with his loving wife by his side. Per Neal’s wishes, no services will be planned at this time. However, the family hopes to plan a “celebration of life” in the near future when circumstances are more favorable.
Neal was born in Fredericksburg, TX, to James ‘Dallas’ Rieger and Annie Josephine ‘Josie’ Walker Rieger, greeted by his two older siblings, Gina Ann Rieger Doskocil and James Bryan ‘JB’ Rieger. He attended schooling at Harper Elementary, Harper Junior High, and Harper High School. Later on in life, he would undertake Computer Programming courses at Texas State Technical Institute (TSTI) and complete various technical and professional development courses through his tenure in the United States Air Force and through government contracts.
On August 20, 1983, Neal married his high school sweetheart, Tammy Richelle Edson in Ingram, TX, and they had three children: James ‘Brandon’ Rieger, Sr (Son, 1984), Aaron Christopher Rieger (Son, 1987) and Tara Richelle Rieger (Daughter, 1991). Following 15 years of marriage, Neal and Tammy divorced. On August 22, 2001, Neal eloped with the love of his life, Katherine ‘Kathy’ Ann Yates Rieger with a sunset ceremony on the beach in Corolla, NC; they remained in love and devoted until his last day. Neal’s sole grandchild, James ‘Brandon’ Rieger, Jr, born February 15, 2004, brought a renewed light into Neal’s life and kept all members of his family—both past and present—uniquely and lovingly united through the remainder of Neal’s life, bringing a shared joy and happiness to everyone.
Neal enlisted in the United States Air Force on March 19, 1984, serving honorably for over ten years across various locations, to include assignments in Greece and Germany, as well as multiple stateside tours in San Antonio, TX and the Washington D.C. area. Having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, Neal separated from active duty on July 31, 1994 under an honorable discharge. He then moved on to a career in defense contracting with various companies, eventually working remotely during his final years.
As a man of many passions and talents, Neal is remembered and memorialized—differently but uniquely—to each of those whom he is survived by: To his lovely wife, Kathy, he is remembered for his enduring patience, love and laughter, beautiful guitar serenades, and gentle kindness he extended to all to include his dear pets, Zena and Gracie, two dogs which rarely left his side. To his children, he is remembered for his persistent wisdom, loving support, and mentorship to face life’s adversities. To his siblings, a loving brother; to his mom, a devoted son. And to just about everyone blessed with the privilege of knowing Neal, his genuine friendship and most distinctive and infectious laugh. His love for the guitar and nearly all forms of music. His love/hate relationship with the Dallas Cowboys. His endless compassion for those he cared about. And so many other admirable qualities, too numerous to list.
To everything that made Neal the wonderful person that he was, we will carry on in his stead, until the day we are together once more.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Kathy in navigating the times ahead, and can be accessed via this link: CARING SUPPORT FOR NEAL’S LOVE, KATHY
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